Bar Soba

BGF invests in Bar Soba.  MD Brad Stevens resized.JPG (002).jpg

Bar Soba, the Glasgow-based bar and restaurant chain, is preparing to open a further seven restaurants following a £3m investment by BGF and the appointment of industry veteran Mohan Mansigani as chair.

The company, which already has five sites spread across Edinburgh, Glasgow and Leeds, will initially target Scotland and the North of England and is already considering a number of sites in key cities including Aberdeen, Liverpool, Manchester and Newcastle.  It will then focus its efforts on expanding further afield.

Founder and CEO Brad Stevens launched the brand at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in 1997 as a pop-up restaurant.

He opened his first permanent Bar Soba outlet on Mitchell Lane in Glasgow and has since expanded into premises in Glasgow’s Byres Road and Merchant City, as well as on Hanover Street in Edinburgh and Merrion Street in Leeds.

His business, which serves creative cocktails and South-East Asian street dishes in a vibrant atmosphere, is on course to turn over in excess of £6m during the current financial year.

Bar Soba has an ambition to become a truly national brand and one of the few born in Scotland to then grow south of the border.  This first stage of investment from BGF is supporting its immediate growth, while the business plans to grow to 30 sites.

As well as providing the growth capital to fuel Bar Soba’s expansion, BGF introduced the business to industry heavy-hitter Mohan Mansigani, who has been appointed as non-executive chair.

He served as chief finance officer at Casual Dining Group – the company behind brands including Bella Italia, Café Rouge and Belgo – from 2002 until 2014, having previously worked as finance director at Costa Coffee and TGI Fridays and in senior finance roles at Grand Metropolitan and Pizza Hut.

BGF’s existing UK investments in the leisure and hospitality sectors include Mexican restaurant group Barburrito, tapas brand Camino, and Thai chain Giggling Squid.

In return for an initial investment of typically between £2m and £10m, BGF takes a minority equity stake in the business. BGF's Gemma Hamilton will join the board of Bar Soba.